Agenda and draft minutes

Budget Meeting, Surrey Police and Crime Panel - Friday, 5 February 2021 10.30 am

Venue: Remote - during Covid-19, meeting link: https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/councillors-and-committees/webcasts

Contact: Amelia Christopher  Email: amelia.christopher@surreycc.gov.uk

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Items
No. Item

1/21

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

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    The Chairman to report apologies for absence.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Apologies were received from Councillor Andrew Povey, Councillor John Furey and Mr Philip Walker.

     

    Councillor Bernie Spoor joined the meeting at 10.42 am, lost connection at 11.34 am and re-joined at 12.43 pm (noted in items 5 and 14) due to IT difficulties.

     

2/21

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 367 KB

3/21

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

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    All Members present are required to declare, at this point in the meeting or as soon as possible thereafter

    (i)            Any disclosable pecuniary interests and / or

    (ii)           Other interests arising under the Code of Conduct in respect of any item(s) of business being considered at this meeting

    NOTES:

    ·         Members are reminded that they must not participate in any item where they have a disclosable pecuniary interest

    ·         As well as an interest of the Member, this includes any interest, of which the Member is aware, that relates to the Member’s spouse or civil partner (or any person with whom the Member is living as a spouse or civil partner)

    ·         Members with a significant personal interest may participate in the discussion and vote on that matter unless that interest could be reasonably regarded as prejudicial.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    There were none.

4/21

PUBLIC QUESTIONS pdf icon PDF 189 KB

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    To receive any public questions.

     

    Note:

    Written questions from the public can be submitted no later than seven days prior to the published date of the annual or any ordinary public meeting, for which a written response will be circulated to Panel Members and the questioner.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    One question was received from Paul Kennedy (District Councillor - Mole Valley District Council). The response can be found attached to these minutes as Annex A.

     

    A supplementary question was asked by Paul Kennedy and the response can be found below.

     

    · Supplementary question asked by Paul Kennedy:

     

    The questioner thanked the Chairman and thanked the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for his written response, but noted that it did not offer much hope for a fairer future and agreed with the PCC about the impact of past government cuts and the apparent ineffectiveness of Surrey’s MPs concerning fairer funding. 

     

    He explained that his supplementary question related to two contrasting comments in the PCC’s answer concerning local councils’ restriction of their increases to less than 3% who had been “under the same cosh” as Surrey Police and that Surrey Police would be as well funded overall as in 2010, which implied that the PCC had made no net real efficiency savings.

     

    He asked why the PCC was asking for another large council tax increase from Surrey residents:

     

    - When so many residents were suffering financially;

     

    - When local councils who really were “under the cosh” had restricted their increases to less than 3%;

     

    - When his overall funding position was comparatively healthy, thanks to the already high level of the police precept; and

     

    - When the investments he offered in return, which were welcomed but after five years as Commissioner residents should be getting already?

     

    Response:

     

    The PCC explained that he would be answering the points above in detail when introducing item 5: Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner’s Proposed Precept 2021/22. He noted that he rejected the use of the word healthy, as Surrey Police although in a better position than it was two years ago, was still recovering from the savage cuts starting in 2010 from previous government administrations. Although Surrey Police had in real terms roughly the same amount of money available to them compared to ten years ago, the demand both in volume and complexity of crime had increased hugely. 

     

5/21

SURREY POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER'S PROPOSED PRECEPT 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

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    The Police and Crime Panel is required to consider and formally respond to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Proposed Precept for 2021/22. The purpose of this item is to allow the Commissioner to outline his proposals in more detail and to answer any questions that Panel Members might have.

     

    Following consideration of the Commissioner’s proposed precept, the Panel must either:

    a) agree the precept without qualification or comment;

    b) support the precept and make comments or recommendations

    concerning the application of the revenues generated; or

    c) veto the proposed precept.

    Report to follow – due to the late Government announcement

    detailing the grant and precept cap level.

     

    Note:

    In accordance with the Police and Crime Panels (Precepts and Chief Constable Appointments) Regulations 2012:

    (a) The Commissioner must notify the Panel of his proposed precept

    by 1 February 2021;

    (b) The Panel must review and make a report to the Commissioner on

    the proposed precept (whether it vetoes the precept or not) by 8

    February 2021;

    (c) If the Panel vetoes the precept, the Commissioner must have

    regard to and respond to the Panel’s report, and publish his response,

    including the revised precept, by 15 February 2021;

    (d) The Panel, on receipt of a response from the Commissioner

    notifying it of his revised precept, must review the revised precept and

    make a second report to the Commissioner by 22 February 2021

    (there is no second right of veto);

    (e) The Commissioner must have regard to and respond to the

    Panel’s second report and publish his response by 1 March 2021.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    David Munro - Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner

    Kelvin Menon - Chief Finance Officer and Treasurer, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC)

     

    Key points raised in the discussion:

     

    1.    The Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) introduced the report and noted that:

    ·      It contained his provisional recommendation for a proposed 5.5% precept increase which equated to £15 for a Band D property and he confirmed his recommendation to the Panel.

    ·      The public consultation through the Council Tax Survey 2021/22 closed at 9 am that morning. There were 4,464 responses to the Survey which answered the yes or no question on the proposed precept increase and of those, there were 2,602 comments in the ‘free text’ box.

    ·      He took the Survey seriously, in which 49% supported the proposed precept increase and 51% did not support it. This was considered to be a balanced response. In particular, he highlighted comments from respondents relating to:

    -     financial hardship particularly as a result of Covid-19.

    -     not feeling that they saw any additional police from the last year’s precept increase - he noted that although there were more police on the streets, recruitment and training took a long time but was on target for 31 March.

    -     wording the Survey better in relation to the proposed 67 staff as although it was the technical term as they were not warranted police officers, the term was perceived as back office roles - he clarified that the staff that he was proposing to fund were operational staff on the frontline such as Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), analysts, crime investigators.

     

    Councillor Bernie Spoor joined the meeting at 10.42 am

     

    ·         Once the Survey results started to trickle in two weeks ago and given his concerns about going for the maximum increase he called for another meeting with the Chief Constable of Surrey Police and finance officers which he had not done in the past, in order to look at what the impact on policing of going for a £12 increase - 4.4% - or a £10 increase - 3.8% - would be. Following lengthy discussions, he was satisfied that the impact of going below £15 would be serious. At £15 the proposed increase would fund a total of 77 operational staff and police officers, if the precept increase was reduced the numbers of staff and officers which could be funded would decrease rapidly and impact some key areas such as rural policing.

    ·           He viewed Surrey Police as an efficient force, which had been confirmed by a recent external audit report. Although there were some adverse comments under the efficiency umbrella within Surrey Police’s PEEL Assessment 2018/19, efficiency was measured in terms of demand management and future planning which could have been improved; rather than efficiency as resource management.

    ·           Since 2010 the force had saved over £75 million with another £6 million in savings included in the current budget proposal. As PCC he expected yearly savings and those had been achieved, providing reassurance to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5/21

6/21

OFFICE OF THE POLICE & CRIME COMMISSIONER'S BUDGET FOR 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 445 KB

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    This paper is provided to the Police & Crime Panel for information only to give Panel Members oversight of the intended budget, to fund the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for the financial year 2021/22.

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    Kelvin Menon - Chief Finance Officer and Treasurer, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC)

     

    Key points raised in the discussion:

     

    1.    The Chief Finance Officer and Treasurer (OPCC)introduced the report and noted that the OPCC’s budget represented 1% of the force’s total expenditure.

    2.    He explained that the budget was split into two parts consisting of the OPCC’s operational budget such as the PCC’s and staffs’ salaries, office and governance costs; and the commissioning budget of £644,000 - contingent on the precept increase - which included the Community Safety Fund (CSF) and victim services and was the PCC’s statutory duty to provide. 

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    The Panel noted the report.

     

    Actions/further information to be provided:

     

    None.

     

7/21

SURREY POLICE GROUP FINANCIAL REPORT FOR MONTH 8 FINANCIAL YEAR 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 470 KB

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    The purpose of this report is to inform the Police & Crime Panel of the Surrey Police Group (i.e. OPCC and Chief Constable combined) of the financial position as at the 30November 2020 as well as a prediction for the situation at the end of the year.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

                Witnesses:

     

    Kelvin Menon - Chief Finance Officer and Treasurer, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC)

    David Munro - Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner

     

    Key points raised in the discussion:

     

    1.      The Chief Finance Officer and Treasurer (OPCC) introduced the report and noted that the Surrey Police Group was predicted to have a slight underspend of £0.7 million against the total budget of £250 million.

    2.      He noted that police officer pay for the full year was below budget but that was countered by temporary and agency staff being over budget.

    -       The Vice-Chairman asked what steps were being taken to reduce expenditure on agency staff. In response, the Chief Finance Officer and Treasurer (OPCC) explained that spending on agency staff was under review and of the £1.7 million overspend, £1 million was for thirty investigative assistants over three divisions to support crime solving until new detectives had been trained.

    -       The PCC recognised that as there was a lag between the money allocated from the precept and uplift, and the recruitment of new police officers and staff; temporary and agency staff filled that gap.

    3.      The Chief Finance Officer and Treasurer (OPCC) noted that police officer and staff overtime continued to be a concern, with increased work as a result of Covid-19 as well as in areas such as ICT and manning the Contact Centre. He added that both the Government’s uplift investment and last year’s precept investment were on track for the end of financial year in terms of FTE officers and staff and that would slowly reduce overtime.

    4.      He added that capital expenditure was significantly below budget, the force operated a two-year capital budget programme and it was probable that a number of projects would be rolled forward.

    5.      He explained that staff resources had been focussed on Covid-19 and so the capital programme had been affected. Covid-19 costs equated to £6.5 million of which £3.5 million had been recovered from the Government. There was no news on whether there would be further Covid-19 grants available for remainder of year or available for the next financial year.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    The Panel noted the report.

     

    Actions/further information to be provided:

     

    None.

     

8/21

OFFICE OF THE POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER FINANCIAL REPORT FOR MONTH 8 FINANCIAL YEAR 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 206 KB

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    The purpose of this report is to inform the Police & Crime Panel of the OPCC’s financial performance against budget up to the 30November 2020. The report compares the budget for the year, as approved by the PCC in February 2020, against actual expenditure incurred.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    Kelvin Menon - Chief Finance Officer and Treasurer, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC)

     

    Key points raised in the discussion:

     

    1.    The Chief Finance Officer and Treasurer (OPCC) noted that at present expenditure was on track and that it was predicted that there would be a slight underspend at the end of the year.

     

    RESOLVED:

    The Panel noted the report.

     

    Actions/further information to be provided:

     

    None.

     

     

9/21

PCC PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT pdf icon PDF 127 KB

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    The report details how the Police and Crime Commissioner has sought to engage with the Surrey public through face-to-face meetings and events, communications and consultation during the last year.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    David Munro - Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner

     

    Key points raised in the discussion:

     

    1.    A Panel member asked how many people had taken part in the engagement sessions. In response the PCC noted that he was pleased with the attendance with approximately fifty people per event totalling over five hundred and noted the multitude of questions asked.

    2.    The Chairman asked how the online attendance figures equated to attendance at face to face meetings. In response the PCC explained that attendance between the two was similar and that going forward a hybrid between the two was a potential option.

     

    RESOLVED:

    The Panel noted the report.

     

    Actions/further information to be provided:

     

    None.

     

     

10/21

MAKING EVERY ADULT MATTER (MEAM) pdf icon PDF 110 KB

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    This report provides information on the projects funded to support those with multiple needs, as Surrey has become a “Making Every Adult Matter” (MEAM) area. MEAM in Surrey has become known as “Surrey Adults Matter” at the request of the MEAM coalition who wanted the Surrey scheme to have its own identity.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    David Munro - Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner

     

    Key points raised in the discussion:

     

    1.      A Panel member welcomed the Checkpoint Plus - Women’s Navigator position funded by the OPCC, noting concern on the exacerbation of the level of domestic abuse experienced and the difficulty in reporting as a result of the pandemic. In response, the PCC noted that the precept increase contained a substantial extra commissioning budget to support victims.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    The Panel noted the report.

     

    Actions/further information to be provided:

     

    None.

     

11/21

BUILDING THE FUTURE - UPDATE pdf icon PDF 206 KB

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    The purpose of this report is to update the Panel on key aspects of the strategic change programme ‘Building the Future’ (BTF) since the Panel’s last meeting in November 2020. 

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    David Munro - Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner

     

    Key points raised in the discussion:

     

    1.    The PCC explained that the Building the Future (BTF) project was progressing well and the force looked forward to serving the public more efficiently through the new headquarters at Leatherhead.

    2.    The PCC added that the next stage entailed interviewing contractors who would be building the new headquarters; further developments would take place throughout the summer and autumn.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    The Panel noted the report.

     

    Actions/further information to be provided:

     

    None.

               

     

12/21

PCC DECISIONS AND FORWARD PLAN pdf icon PDF 196 KB

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    This report provides information on the formal decisions taken by the PCC between January and December 2020 and details of the Office’s ongoing Forward Plan for 2021.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    David Munro - Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner

     

    Key points raised in the discussion:

     

    1.      The Chairman suggested that for future reports the decisions be tabulated as opposed to accessing the information through the website link provided. In response, the PCC noted that he was happy to take that suggestion on board.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

     The Panel noted the report.

     

                Actions/further information to be provided:

     

                 R2/21 - The PCC will look into tabulating his decisions.

     

13/21

FEEDBACK ON MANAGEMENT MEETINGS BETWEEN THE POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER AND CHIEF CONSTABLE pdf icon PDF 142 KB

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    One of the main responsibilities of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is to hold the Chief Constable to account for delivery of the Police and Crime Plan. David Munro has set up a governance framework to discharge this duty. The main part of this framework is to hold six-weekly Performance Meetings where the Chief Constable reports on progress against the Police & Crime Plan and other strategic issues. 

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    David Munro - Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner

     

    Key points raised in the discussion:

     

    1.    The PCC explained that due to the pandemic all performance meetings with the Chief Constable had been online which posed a different dynamic, however he was satisfied that the rigour of those meetings had been maintained.

     

    RESOLVED:


    The Surrey Police and Crime Panel noted the update on the PCC’s Performance Meetings.

     

    Actions/further information to be provided:

     

    None.

               

     

14/21

COMMISSIONER'S QUESTION TIME pdf icon PDF 252 KB

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    For the Panel to raise any issues or queries concerning crime and policing in Surrey with the Commissioner.

     

    Notes:

    The deadline for Member’s questions is 12.00pm four working days before the meeting (1 February 2021).

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillor Bernie Spoor re-joined the meeting at 12.43pm

     

    Witnesses:

     

    David Munro - Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner

     

    Key points raised in the discussion:

     

    See Annex D - Submitted Questions and Responses

     

    1.    Councillor Hazel Watson (Mole Valley District Council) – Vice-Chairman:

     

    The Vice-Chairman noted that the Surrey Local Resilience Forum (SLRF) was taking action on the issue of large numbers of visitors to Surrey’s beauty spots and she asked what Surrey Police’s involvement was. 

     

    In response, the PCC explained that Surrey Police was an integral part of the SLRF as the Chief Constable was a joint chair of the Strategic Coordination Group (SCG). He explained that the issue was variable and that he was pleased with the force’s response to Covid-19 county-wide as it had the right balance of the ‘four Es’: Engage, Explain, Encourage and Enforce. Enforcement was a last resort and that included inappropriate visits to beauty spots. The Government’s lockdown guidance was not a clear as it should be, however he emphasised that the overarching principle was for people not to leave their homes unless they needed to. He explained that the Chief Constable echoed the statement by the Secretary of State for Health who urged people to ‘act like you have the virus’.

     

    3.    Councillor David Reeve (Epsom and Ewell Borough Council) – Chairman:

     

    The Chairman noted the response that there was no full list of topics where national police force positions were shown, regarding the references made at the PCC’s performance meetings with the Chief Constable on Surrey Police’s positions on various areas compared nationally.

     

    In response the PCC explained that there were various national surveys with some comparative information open to the public, noting that some comparative operational positions were sensitive.

     

    RESOLVED:

    The Panel raised issues and queries concerning Crime and Policing in Surrey with the Commissioner.

     

    Actions/further information to be provided:

     

    R3/21 - Outside of the Panel, two operational questions had been asked and responses were provided to the Panel members and the OPCC would follow up any supplementary questions relating to those with Surrey Police.

     

15/21

COMPLAINTS RECEIVED SINCE THE LAST MEETING pdf icon PDF 120 KB

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    To note complaints against the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner received since the last meeting of the Police and Crime Panel.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    Amelia Christopher - Committee Manager, Surrey County Council (SCC)

     

    Key points raised in the discussion:

     

    1.    The Committee Manager (SCC) confirmed that the Panel’s Complaints Sub-Committee had received no complaints since the last Panel meeting.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    The Panel noted the report.

     

    Actions/further information to be provided:

     

    None.

     

     

16/21

RECOMMENDATIONS TRACKER AND FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 18 KB

17/21

EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC

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    Recommendation: That under Section 100(A) of the Local Government

    Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items

    of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of

    exempt information under the relevant paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule

    12A of the Act.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    RESOLVED:

     

    That under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information under the relevant paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

     

     

18/21

EQUIP - UPDATE

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    The Police and Crime Commissioner to provide a verbal update.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    David Munro - Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner

     

    Key points raised in the discussion:

     

    1.      The PCC provided a Part 2 verbal update noting that the Equip system had moved into a new phase and that he would keep the Panel updated as plans progressed.

    RESOLVED:

     

    That the Police and Crime Panel noted the verbal update.

    Actions/further information to be provided:

     

    The Panel will be kept updated on the Equip programme in line with action R7/20 which will be added to the Forward Work Programme as a standing Part 2 update.

     

     

19/21

PUBLICITY OF PART 2 ITEMS

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    To consider whether the item considered under Part 2 of the agenda should be made available to the Press and public.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    RESOLVED:

    The Panel agreed that no confidential information within the item considered under Part 2 of the agenda should be made available to the Press and public.

     

20/21

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

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    The next public meeting of the Police and Crime Panel will be held on 22 March 2021 (or if Precept vetoed - 19 February 2021).

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Panel noted that its next public meeting would be held on 22 March 2021, the location was to be confirmed however it would most likely be remote via Microsoft Teams due to Covid-19.